WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. -- Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino demanded on Wednesday that New York State immediately release data on how many students opted out of state Common Core tests this week.
Astorino, the unsuccessful 2014 Republican candidate for governor, has been the leading voice for Common Core repeal and replacement in New York.
He and his wife, Sheila -- a special education teacher -- withheld their children from this week's Common Core tests, as they did last year, on the grounds that they are untested, poorly and secretly devised, developmentally inappropriate, disruptive to wider learning and federally rather than locally engineered, among other concerns.
"Parents across New York State are speaking up and they must be heard," Astorino said. "Governor Cuomo and the State Education Department must release statistics on just how widespread this 'opt-out' movement has become. When the people speak in these kind of numbers, government leaders had better listen."
Astorino said that Common Core was "thrust upon New Yorkers" because Albany wanted federal dollars from the Obama administration to plug budget gaps. He also cited dissent from mathematics and English language arts content experts on the original Common Core validation panel that said that the Common Core standards were of "poor quality." Their concerns were expunged from the final Common Core report, Astorino said.
"New York was in the process of developing the highest academic standards in America when Common Core came along, wrapped in a bow with federal dollars," Astorino said.
"And then, in the blink of an eye, learning in New York as we know it was turned on its head," he said. "As a former school board member, husband of a special-education teacher, and father who has spent countless hours helping his kids with homework, I want the highest standards for my children and all children, but the Common Core experiment isn't delivering them. We really don't know what it's delivering, in fact, and that's the problem. The secretive nature of the whole thing has parents rightly concerned and frustrated."
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.